West Norfolk man died on Christmas Day following fall, inquest hears
An 86-year-old man died on Christmas Day last year, two days after a fall at a holiday home, an inquest has heard.
Leonard Bridges, of Grimston, was found by his granddaughter at the bottom of a flight of stairs at the holiday let they were staying at in Wells, the hearing last Friday was told.
In written evidence, paramedic Michael Spratt said he had been called to the property at about 12.45am on December 23 to reports of the fall, which had rendered Mr Bridges unresponsive for a short while.
Mr Spratt told the inquest that he had requested fire service assistance, as it would have been a “very risky manhandling exercise” to try to take Mr Bridges out of the property via two flights of narrow stairs.
He was taken out of the building via patio doors on the second storey using an aerial ladder platform, before being taken to Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he arrived at about 3.30am.
Mr Bridges’ daughter Karen Callahan told the inquest, in a written statement, that when he arrived he was conscious but uncomfortable, and he became “more and more agitated and distressed”.
Medical officials said Mr Bridges, who was a retired Anglian Water superintendent, had multiple wounds, and was complaining of neck and spine pain.
The inquest heard that in hospital, Mr Bridges was resuscitated following cardiac arrest, but his condition deteriorated and he died on December 25.
While Mrs Callahan had praise for the care her father received in the critical care unit, she said she felt the treatment he received in A&E was not of the same standard.
Mrs Callahan said her father had been in good health prior to the fall, having bought a new car in the days before his death, and taken a trip to Elveden with family.
She said it was the “hardest situation she had ever had to deal with”.
Assistant coroner for Norfolk Johanna Thompson ruled that Mr Bridges’ death was accidental, and that he had died of aspiration pneumonia following a fall.
“He died as a consequence of the injuries and subsequent complications arising from an unwitnessed fall at his holiday home,” she said.
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